Web Monetization Community

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Cover image for Quartz Open Access — Grant Report #20200095

Quartz Open Access — Grant Report #20200095

Ámbar
Founder of Decentralized Science and Quartz Open Access. Decentralized Governance researcher.
・6 min read

Quartz OA Donation

Project Update

Quartz OA has developed a functional MVP to enable donations for the Open Access (OA) ecosystem. The software incorporates Interledger and Web monetization technologies to existing donation and payment systems. This way, we enable donations for journals while encouraging our users to adopt Web-Monetization tools for early adopters. The software allows our community to receive donations using web monetization and traditional Paypal donations.

Additionally, we are designing developing and testing the following software:

  • A system of rewards for peer reviewers, including blockchain-based badges and currencies.
  • Our browser extension: customizing and branding the existing Coil web-monetization extension.

Currently, our main struggle is to integrate our tokens and blockchain-based software with the existing tools (e.g. the browser extension) and networks (e.g. Interledger main network).

Progress on objectives

Our goals include 1) the development of a blockchain-based system of rewards for the OA ecosystem and 2) the development of a web-monetization browser extension.

  1. OA Rewards: We have developed a functional MVP to make donations to OA initiatives, with:

    • Web monetization integration: Interledger addresses are included in the application to enable micro-donations.
    • Traditional payment methods such as Paypal and credit card payments
    • Integrated Social experience: sharing donations on twitter; joining Quartz Open Access community, etc.
  2. Web Monetization Extension: We are developing a custom web monetization browser extension (currently in test networks), with the following characteristics:

    • Quartz OA Token: We have deployed our own ERC-20 token and integrated it with Interledger test networks and infrastructure.
    • Browser extension: customizing Coil’s software and integrating with our token.

At this stage, our project aimed to have both goals already deployed. We have made considerable progress in both goals. However, the software is still using testing infrastructure and will require more development efforts.

Key activities

Our project has made significant efforts in design, software development, business strategy and research, community bootstrapping, and communication. As a result, we have a well-positioned project with a better understanding of the market, a tested minimum viable product (MVP), and a clear strategy. These outcomes are summarized below:

Design

The main design outcomes are:

Development

We have developed a MVP to support the sustainability of OA initiatives, with the following characteristics:

  • Web Monetization and Interledger Integration
  • Standard payment options
  • Social interactions
  • Own token
  • Own browser extension

The software is however still in development, and needs to be properly deployed in production environments.

Community

Our efforts also include the establishment of a community of early adopters and partners. The main activities done in this regard are:

  • Research and collect information about relevant Organizations such as OA communities, OA Journals and Conferences, Universities and other institutions, technology partners and competitors.
  • Develop our community canvas.
  • Community engagement (see Communication section below)
  • Community bootstrapping plan: including crowdfunding and marketing campaigns, and engagement activities, aiming to establish a platform cooperative for the project.

Business

Our business research aimed to gain a better understanding of the field and the market, and helped us define our business strategy to position our project as a sustainable economic model for OA publishing. Our main research efforts in include:

  • Researching OA sustainability and economic models.
  • Researching donation platforms in other fields.
  • Researching the governance of platform cooperativism and other broad ownership organizations.

Additionally, we have developed a business development plan based in our Unique Value proposition, our key partnerships, and a roadmap aligned with our community building and communication efforts.

Communications and marketing

In addition to our twitter, website and newsletter, we have:

Our communication and marketing efforts will increase once we have a ready to use product. We will welcome a Marketing intern to help us with these efforts as explained in What’s Next section.

What’s next?

Our main goal to finish our Grant for the Web project is to deploy our MVP to serve our nascent community. For that, our concrete objectives are:

  1. Finish the development and deployment of the Rewards for OA initiatives using web monetization and traditional payments.
    • Deploy functional donation widget
    • Deploy functional browser extension
  2. Bootstrap our community of early adopters:
    • Launch crowdfunding campaigns for OA initiatives and get matching contributions from partner institutions.
    • Design and launch marketing campaign for 1) researchers, 2) OA Initiatives and 3) Institutions.

Complementing our current team, we will incorporate three interns from Computer Engineering, and from Marketing degrees. This additional support will speed up the development and marketing efforts, which are much needed for the success of the project.

What community support would benefit your project?

We would love to receive support four our development and community bootstraping efforts.

Development

Our main struggles are currently with the integration and deep understanding of interledger technology. Thus we would really benefit from some mentoring with experience developers in the field, concretely to:

  1. Understand the role of interledger connectors, and to what extent we could deploy in the main network one of these connectors to bring our token to the existing Interleger ecosystem.
  2. Deploying our own browser extension: To serve our community as a web monetization provider, we need help providing a server implementation of Coil service (is this code open and available?). Additionally, we need support to connect our extension to the BTP interface of our Interledger node, as we have been unable to create such connections in the testing networks and infrastructure.

Community

We are bootstrapping our community, which aims to bring a new sustainable OA model based in web monetization technology. We welcome any introduction to interested actors in the OA Ecosystem, such as researchers, journals, universities, libraries, associations, etc. Write us an email to contact@decentralized.science or help us share twitter, website and newsletter.

Discussion (11)

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chrislarry profile image
Chris Lawrence

@sid @sharon @elliot You might all have insights for this team on WM browser exstensions

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sid profile image
Sid Vishnoi

Hi @atenorio , I have extracted a MVP extension from the Coil extension. I hope it can be a helpful reference.

GitHub logo sidvishnoi / wm-firefox-extension-coil

WebMonetization extension (for Coil) to demonstrate native WebMonetization support at https://github.com/sidvishnoi/gecko-webmonetization/

Although the extension makes use of experimental web monetization browser extension APIs (see background.js), the rest of the code can be used almost as is. Feel free to ping me if you've questions.

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atenorio profile image
Ámbar Author • Edited

Thanks @sid , very useful project!

We are struggling from the server-side, as we want to implement the GraphQL API Coil provides, but we cannot find the server-side implementation. Do you know where we could find help for this?

Thanks a lot

Thread Thread
sid profile image
Sid Vishnoi

I think the Coil GraphQL API would be proprietary. @adrianhopebailie could tell more.

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chrislarry profile image
Chris Lawrence

Thanks @sid

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sharon profile image
Sharon

@atenorio Sounds like you're looking for server-side browser extension help, but if any client-side browser extension dev is being done, feel free to check our repo for Akita github.com/esse-dev/akita. @elliot and I are happy to chat if you have any questions!

Also here's Coil's open source code for their extension: github.com/coilhq/web-monetization...

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atenorio profile image
Ámbar Author • Edited

Thanks Sharon!

Yes, we need help from the server-side part of the extension, any idea who could help?

We are using the Coil's open source code you shared, the problem is that we cannot get the server-side implementation, and if it is not Open Source, we would love some support to implement an Open version ourselves.

PS: We love what your project has done, looks really neat!

Thread Thread
elliot profile image
Elliot

Hi Ambar,

I'm afraid @sharon and I don't know of anyone who is working on a server-side implementation... But we invite you to come to the upcoming virtual informal grantee hangout event, maybe you could meet someone who knows something there.

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atenorio profile image
Ámbar Author

Thanks @chrislarry from bringing in the people that can help :)

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cyberdees profile image
Desigan CHINNIAH

Also @niq for extension magic...

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chrislarry profile image
Chris Lawrence

@adrianhopebailie @matdehaast Any insights on helping this team with this question:

"Understand the role of interledger connectors, and to what extent we could deploy in the main network one of these connectors to bring our token to the existing Interleger ecosystem."